Coronavirus Government Response Update—Businesses Plead for Mask Mandates

July 13, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Businesses Plead for Mask Mandates

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the recently introduced workplace safety tax credit legislation, the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus, businesses asking states to enforce mask mandates, and more.

Businesses Plead for States to Enforce Mask Mandates
Several dozen studies have shown that masks are highly effective at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. According to Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the widespread adoption of mask-wearing would “substantially mute the transmission of this disease and we would grow faster. We would have a lower unemployment rate…and would be far less likely to slow some of our reopening.” However, local law enforcement agencies have resisted carrying out enforcement, leaving businesses and their vulnerable workforce to bear the burden of enforcing mask-wearing requirements. As a result, business groups are urging state and local governments to step in.

Workplace Safety Tax Credit” Would “Help Revive Our Economy”
U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-D) and Kevin Cramer (ND-R) introduced legislation (S. 4178) establishing a “workplace safety tax credit” to help businesses and nonprofits protect workers and customers by implementing coronavirus infection-prevention measures. If enacted, the workplace safety tax credit would “help employers keep their workers and customers safe, and, in so doing, helps revive our economy,” according to John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs. ISSA supports this bill, which contains many provisions of the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit proposal.

Real-Time Data Shows Coronavirus Causing ‘Widespread’ Economic Fallout
Surging coronavirus cases are showing up in both a slowdown of current economic activity as well as future plans, according to real-time data tracking a host of indicators, including job listings. “The state of the outbreak clearly still has the ability to influence economic outcomes,” according to CNBC. Job listings have declined and are approximately 20% below their February level. 

Other links of interest: